Seton, George (1584-1650) (DNB00)

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SETON, GEORGE, third Earl of Winton (1584–1650), second son of Robert Seton, first earl of Winton, by Margaret, daughter of Hugh Montgomerie, third earl of Eglinton, was born in December 1584. His brother, Alexander, took the surname of Montgomerie, and became in 1611 sixth Earl of Eglinton [q. v.] George succeeded to the earldom of Winton in 1607, in the lifetime of his elder brother, who resigned the title and estates in his favour. In accordance with the old traditions of his family, he entertained James VI at Seton Palace, on his visit to Scotland in 1617, and also twice entertained Charles I in 1633. In 1620 he erected the additional residence of Winton Castle in Pencaitland parish, Haddingtonshire, an original and remarkably striking modification of Tudor architecture. He was referred to by John Maxwell [q. v.], bishop of Ross, and afterwards archbishop of Tuam, in 1638, as ‘popishly affected’ (Balfour, Annals, ii. 263), and though he took no prominent part in public affairs, seems to have generally favoured the king. He supported the engagement for the king's rescue in 1648, and gave to the commander-in-chief, the Duke of Hamilton, 1,000l. in free gift for his equipage. He died at Seton on 15 Dec. 1650 of a palsy, and ‘was interred among his ancestors in the church there without any funeral solemnity’ (ib. iv. 255). By his first wife, Lady Anne Hay, eldest daughter of Francis, eighth earl of Errol, he had, with three daughters, four sons: George, lord Seton, who having joined Montrose shortly after the battle of Kilsyth, was taken prisoner at Philiphaugh, but was finally liberated on a bond of 100,000l., and died at Seton in 1648, leaving, with other children, a son George, lord Seton (d. 1648), whose son George became fourth earl of Winton (d. 1704); Charles; Alexander, viscount Kingston [q. v.]; and Francis. By his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John, lord Herries, he had, with five daughters, four sons: Christopher, William, John, and Robert.

[Balfour's Annals; Spalding's Memorialls and Gordon's Scots Affairs in the Spalding Club; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 643–4.]

T. F. H.